News & Analysis

  1. blackphone

    Software bug made the seemingly secure Blackphone vulnerable to snooping

    The Blackphone might not be as secure as advertised. Ars Technica reports that the device had a bug which allowed anyone to read messages sent to it, write code to its internal storage, view its contacts list, and track its location. The researcher who discovered the bug claims the only thing needed to exploit it was the phone number or unique Silent Circle identification number associated with the device. Silent Circle makes the Blackphone’s software and the encrypted communications tools…
  3. pando-inside-baseball

    Gawker to raise $15M in debt

    Gawker founder Nick Denton plans to raise $15 million in debt as he expands the publication’s focus to include more investigative journalism and less emphasis on the viral content which fueled the network’s growth last year. [Source: Business Insider]
  4. Metromile

    Uber aims to squash its off-duty insurance problem with per-mile coverage from Metromile

    Uber may have finally solved one of the thorniest issues facing its US driver-partners: insurance. The company has been routinely criticized for the ambiguity of its insurance situation, including what commercial liability coverage it provides drivers while they are transporting passengers and how that dovetails with a driver’s own personal automotive coverage for the rest of their driving time. Many individual auto insurance policies expressly prohibit working as a transportation-network company (TNC) driver, or at the very least…
  5. father-john-misty

    This indie rocker just made the perfect parody of the new music economy

    The antipathy toward streaming music services from many in the artist community is well-known. Their arguments cover everything from low royalty payments to more philosophical concerns — like that streaming music, which exists entirely in the cloud and not as an MP3 or physical product, has created a more disposable culture around the artform. But the latest artist attack on the new music economy isn’t a Guardian editorial or a speech at a music symposium. It’s a whole site that parodies not only tech music platforms but…
  7. elsewhere

    Watch people freak over the Tesla P85D’s “Insane Mode”

    Apparently the Tesla P85D has a feature called “Insane Mode” that accelerates the car from 0 to 60 mph in 3 seconds. And it’s really freaking people out. [Source: DragTimes via Digg]
  8. press-release

    Fruit-named company still crazy successful

    Apple released an earnings report today, and the company beat Wall Street’s expectations on all counts. Most impressively, it sold 74.5 million iPhones which is more than it ever had in a quarter. For comparison, in its second-best quarter for iPhone sales Apple only sold 51.1 million units. [Source: Apple]
  9. internet-of-things-2015

    The FTC wants to make sure consumers don’t drown in the Internet of Things’ flood of data

    Can a regulator struggling to manage the handling of data generated by smartphones keep pace with a world in which everything from refrigerators to toilets is connected to the Internet? That’s the question the Federal Trade Commission asks itself with a new call for tech companies to protect consumers after the so-called Internet of Things goes mainstream. The FTC wants tech companies to do a few things: implement “reasonable” security in their products, minimize the amount of data collected via these devices, and ensure…
  11. uber-playing-nice

    Here’s a copy of Uber’s emergency surge pricing agreement with the state of New York

    The “Hashtag-Blizzard-of-2015″ has come and gone in New York. And despite dire warnings from meteorologists that the city would be blanketed in 20-30 inches of snow, the final snow-counts across the 5 boroughs were more in the 6- to 10-inch range. (Long Island, however, was not so fortunate). But while New Yorkers stocked up on whiskey and toilet paper, the tech community was focused on venture-funded car services like Uber and Lyft. During a particularly bad snowstorm last Winter,…
  12. elsewhere

    France plans to hold Facebook and Twitter accountable for hate speech

    France plans to propose a new law which would hold Facebook, Twitter, and other social media companies accountable for hosting terrorist threats and other hate speech if they refuse to remove the content from their services. [Source: Bloomberg]
  14. strictly-business

    Google Fiber spreads across the South

    Google has announced that its Google Fiber program will expand to Nashville, Atlanta, and other cities across the South. The ultra-fast Internet connections, which are offered to consumers at a low cost, are already available in Austin, Provo, and Kansas City. The company is also considering expanding to San Antonio, Portland, and other cities. [Source: Google]
  15. snapchat-continues-to-impress

    Snapchat does what Facebook couldn’t: Get publishers to trust it with their content

    Snapchat has introduced a new feature which allows its users to view articles, images, and videos from a variety of publishers inside the company’s messaging application. It’s called Discover, and it’s a major departure from the company’s ephemeral beginnings. Discover separates content into a variety of “channels” from media organizations like Comedy Central, Vice, National Geographic, and other well-known publishers. Users see previews of this content, decide if they’re interested in it, then view the entire thing in Snapchat’s application.…
  16. parrot-facebook-twitter

    Twitter parrots Facebook with group messaging, video features

    The Facebook-ification of Twitter continues today with the announcement that Twitter users will now be able to send group messages and upload videos directly to the service. Expanding the direct messages feature to enable communication with a group of people instead of just one other person shows that Twitter isn’t afraid to emulate Facebook, which has offered group messaging for years, in its efforts to attract people to its service. It also shows that the company hasn’t abandoned the direct messages feature, which is…
  18. IT Support

    HelloTech raises $2.5M to bring on-demand convenience to in-home IT support

    It’s not just transportation and food delivery that are going on-demand today. Increasingly, most service categories can benefit from the friction-reducing effects of modern, smartphone-powered booking and the flexibility of a dynamic workforce. The latest category to join the revolution is home IT support, thanks to the launch of Los Angeles-based HelloTech. The company today announced $2.5 million in seed funding from a Upfront Ventures, Accel Partners*, Crosscut Ventures, Amplify.LA, Ron Burkle, and other angels, as well as plans…
  19. Old TV

    Epoxy partners with top MCNs to makes multi-platform content management less of a pain

    With the emergence of online video stars that rival traditional Hollywood celebrities in popularity and influence, it’s no surprise brands are turning to digital platforms to reach consumers. But with fans spread across YouTube, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and Facebook, it’s harder than ever to manage and measure the impact of these brand messages. Epoxy is a two-year-old Venice startup that is solving this problem in a major way by making it possible to publish, track, measure, and drive…
  20. spy

    The DEA is collecting information about “millions” of Americans without public oversight

    A semi-secret surveillance program developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration is collecting location information about “millions” of Americans through the use of a license plate-reading system to which state police departments also contribute data. It’s not clear how large the program is, but according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request, at least 100 license plate readers across the United States are part of the DEA-run network. The program was…

The Week in Review